Subscribe to Newsletter

Marriott removes ad likening agents to creepy petrol station attendants


After receiving a formal complaint from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), hotel group Marriott International has removed a YouTube advertisement that encouraged customers to book directly with their hotels.

 

 

Allegedly comparing travel agents to dodgy petrol station attendants, the ad was designed to make travellers more aware of the perks they can get when avoiding third parties like getting free Wi-Fi and “the best rates”. 

 

Part of three ads in Marriott’s new “Book Direct” digital campaign, the video has since been set to private, but according to USA Today the commercial showed tourists receiving bad directions from a petrol station employee, who basically wanted to take them on a scenic route.

 

What makes a trusted travel adviser?

When a cheap holiday isn’t… And when DIY becomes WTF

The strange requests travel agents get

Largest Aust online retailer moves into travel

Fraudster travel agent turned to dealing drugs, jailed

 

“We took it down because we didn’t realize it was offensive to travel agents […] The thing with the gas station attendant wasn’t meant to disparage agents; the ad campaign was just meant to be playful,” Marriott’s global director of travel industry sales Carmen Perez told Skift.

 

The two other ads in the campaign however remain live, and feature YouTube personality Grace Helbig telling travellers that the most direct route is always best. Here’s one of them:

 


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 7 September 2015


comments powered by Disqus